Ethnicity and Music Education

The role of ethnicity in music teaching and learning is a topic of increasing interest among music educators in the 21st century. Recently I have been developing a chapter entitled “Ethnicity and Music Education: Sociological Dimensions” for the book Sociology and Music Education (Ed., Ruth Wright) that will be published on Ashgate Press in late 2009. Contributing authors to the book include Ruth Wright, Christopher Small, Lucy Green, Pamela Burnard, John Finney and others. I believe this will be the first multi-author book to provide an international overview of this topic by primarily European authors.

Here is a link to an article that describes a music education project among Native Americans: http://archives.dailyuw.com/2001/013001/N1.yakimafeat.html

Here is a link to a project involving Thai and Maori music educators:

Hildegard Froehlich has also written a concise and unusually insightful book that provides an American perspective on the sociology of music education:


Here is a link to a useful resource for sociology of music education compiled by Marie McCarthy:


There have also been five international symposia on the Sociology of Music Education, from which conference proceedings were produced:


Ethnicity is a particularly complex topic in music education that must be considered in terms of the identities of teachers, students, and even the music itself. The following organizations tend to offer relevant research studies:

Society for Ethnomusicology


Cultural Diversity in Music Education


Asia-Pacific Symposium for Music Education Research



UPDATE (summer, 2010):

Here are some of my recent publications related to this topic:

  • Hebert, D. G. (in press, 2010). Ethnicity and music education: Sociological dimensions. In R. Wright (Ed.), Sociology and Music Education. Aldershot: Ashgate Press.

  • Hebert, D. G. (2009). Rethinking the historiography of hybrid genres in music education. In V. Kurkela & L. Vakeva (Eds.), De-Canonizing Music History. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 163-184.

  • Editor (with Sidsel Karlsen), special issue on multiculturalism:

Finnish Journal of Music Education, Vol.13, No.1

No comments: